If you grew up in the general gaming community, the death knell heard as Mad Catz filed for bankruptcy was probably music to your ears. If, however, you have been a part of the FGC, Mad Catz’s demise sounded more like a dirge. Responsible for putting arcade sticks in the hands of many players over the last decade, the company was one of the sole beneficiaries of the fighting game renaissance experienced during and after 2009, as Street Fighter IV became the hottest fighting game in a long time.
But a lot of their success in the FGC could be attributed solely to the community itself, with Mark “Markman” Julio’s efforts to shift Mad Catz brand recognition to a positive light, for example. Having started at the company in the role of technical support, Markman ultimately was the one that sparked the SE and TE Fightsticks that became the line we knew today.
In this interview with Polygon, Julio talked about his time there, stating that, “We created an ecosystem where players, competitors and fans can unite under a brand and really make impact-driven memories from the shared experiences.” He also talks about how Mad Catz began sponsoring and selling at events, saying that when he had asked for time off to go to a tournament, “My boss at the time asked me if the event would be willing to help promote the Mad Catz products, or even sell them during the event.”